Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544.

Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota.


Volume V, Number 2 | spring 2012


Word Order

By Lewis H. Lapham

The Internet is blessed with undoubtedly miraculous applications, but language is not yet one of them. Technology cannot displace the primacy of words.



Having surrendered at the Appomattox Court House earlier that year, Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1865 became the president of Washington College—now Washington & Lee University—where he suggested, “The study of the mother tongue in any country is an important element of polite education, and is moreover valuable for its practical utility and necessary relation to other branches of learning.” He established in 1869 a chair in English language and literature, the first of its kind in the United States.

Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

- Jane Austen, 1818


LQ Podcast

#03 John Micklethwait

Lewis Lapham talks to John Micklethwait about rethinking the machinery of the state in the twenty-first century. More